12 Steps to the Perfect Pitch from Startup Weekend Tokyo

Ha! My first “Top n whatever list” topic to lure readers 😀 … Well, this is just a list I got from Startup Weekend Tokyo, Guy Cihi, CEO of AGS Capital came to share his experience from both the Startup side and the VC side, to show us the key elements that make up a good pitch! Afterwards we got to pick his brain some more and he had good conversations with many of us. This is part of the benefits you’ll gain by participating at Startup Weekends!

Here is the 12 steps program:
  1. Briefly introduce yourself. State what your business idea is – say it clearly and simply – focus on the main thing you’re going to offer to the market. 
     
  2. Describe the problem your idea solves. You may need to give some background information before you can describe the problem. That’s okay but keep it short.
     
  3. Define your target market: Who are the buyers. Where are they. How many are there. 
     
  4. Explain how your idea solves the problem. People think about facts, but they act on emotions, so describe how customers will feel thanks to your idea. 
     
  5. Show a demonstration! Wireframe, prototype, video, a sample… whatever you can.
    Show the exciting things about your product or service. 
     
  6. Describe how your business makes money. What is the projected gross profit margin for the business? How do the sales and marketing work. What is the first step to get distribution started? If your idea is a free service, be clear about that. 
     
  7. What about the competition? Mention some existing solutions people use. How are you different from them? What are your advantages? How does you price compare? Pro investors don’t like to hear that you have no competition. It demonstrate either ignorance or hubris. Even if you invent something like email, you should say the competition is letters and greeting cards. 
      
  8. Describe your background, and introduce your team: Professional investors like passionate and organized CEOs with teams. Mention your accomplishments to date. Describe what comes next. 
     
  9. Explain how much money you want to raise from investors and describe the possible exits and timing you imagine for your investors. 
     
  10. Ask if your idea is something they would consider for an investment. 
     
  11. If they say yes, it will lead to some questions from them. As you work through their questions, keep in mind that your top goal should be to get a next meeting. 
     
  12. If they say no, be polite, but don’t waste any more time, move on and don’t be discouraged.
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